TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 05: Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers scores a power play goal past Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning assisted by Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on June 05, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. The Lightning defeated the Rangers 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Rangers were oh-so close to a 3-0 series lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Oh-so close to being a step away from the Stanley Cup Finals.

Until they weren’t.

After a scoreless first period, the Rangers a pair of goals from Mika Zibanejad and Chris Krieder gave New York a 2-0 lead midway through the period. They enjoyed that lead until Tampa’s Nikita Kucherov cut that lead in half on a power-play goal with with about 9:10 to go in the period.

That was fine. The Rangers defense held. Igor Shesterkin was putting together another masterpiece.

However, 1:22 into the third period Steven Stamkos tied the game up at two on a power play. Later with 42 seconds to go in regulation, Ondrej Palat gave the Lightning the win they had been looking for, when he took a pass from in front of the net and slapped it past Shesterkin for the game-winner.

Just like that the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions are right back in this series. The Rangers still lead it 2-1, but they were oh-so close to putting the Lightning in a very uncomfortable position.

The Rangers and Lightning skate in Game 4 on Tuesday night.